Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Left Behind: A Novel Of The Earth's Last Days (Left Behind, #1)” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Left Behind: A Novel O...
Tim LaHaye
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Left Behind: A Novel Of The Earth's Last Days (Left Behind #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  173,999 Ratings  ·  3,322 Reviews
An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun...
Book club edition, 594 pages
Published 1995 by Doubleday Direct/Tyndale House
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Left Behind, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

CJ Scurria Yes it is fascinating! Such intriguing theories on the meanings behind the book Revelations and that is all wrapped up into a thrilling bunch of…moreYes it is fascinating! Such intriguing theories on the meanings behind the book Revelations and that is all wrapped up into a thrilling bunch of books.

I hear believer or non-believer both have enjoyed the series so if you can check it out!

Am currently on "The Remnant" the tenth book in the series.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shabby
It has been a long time since I read Left Behind, but I have one interesting memory of reading it that remains clear and is, I think, worthy of discussion. I'll get to that memory in a second, but first I must digress.

I read this book for a student of mine. She was a very nice lady who came into my English classes worried for everyone's souls (and I say this with all honesty). Left Behind was her favourite novel (her favourite book was The Bible, obviously), and she asked me to read it just afte
Jan 01, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, novels
I felt left out of the Bad Books Club because I completely failed to get past the first chapter of The DaVinci Code, so I read this to keep up. And boy, is this one horrible book! And there's at least 11 more of them! (N.B. - I will not be reading the rest of the series)

The writing is beyond terrible. In a story that presents so many interesting narrative possibilities - the grief of those "left behind" after The Rapture, the breakdown of society after a massive tragedy, the personal pain and so
Will Byrnes
Try to forget for a minute that there are people who take this stuff literally. The book actually works as a sort of sci-fi novel, the kind Robert Heinlein might have written for adolescents. The characters are paper thin and the truth is revealed to true believers. It is a scandal that this stuff sold so many copies. But it was worth the read to know what all the fuss was about. Entertaining, sure, but still a major eye-roller.
Nick Black
Apr 18, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My mother demanded I read this in my senior year of high school (I was no slouch reader or anything, I assure; this was indeed punishment for a handful of books the parents had found, and thrown away -- Henry Miller, The Story of O, Beyond Good and Evil, and for some incomprehensible reason Invisible Man, which all ought indicate the parents as not particularly illiterate people themselves (aside from the Ellison, their Index Librorum Prohibitorum at least evidenced a self-coherent ethos), and g ...more
Jul 06, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody with a functioning neuron
Shelves: religion
I usually have students fill out a card at the start of the semester with information like their major, where they went to high school, etc. One thing I always ask is what book they read most recently. The Left Behind series started showing up on those cards a lot a few years ago, so I decided to read the first one to see what they were like.

This is absolutely the worst-written book that I've ever picked up. The dialogue is painful, the characters are wooden, the descriptions are hackneyed. In
Ancient Weaver
Sep 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absolutely no one
Shelves: fiction, f-this-crap
Left Behind is one of the most wretchedly awful books I have ever forced myself to read.

If possible, I would give this book zero stars. Only by sheer willpower and by listening to the audio book one short installment at a time was I able to get through this one. Whole essays/rants could be written on how much this book sucks, but I'll limit myself to just a couple observations.

The worst thing about LB isn't LaHaye's crazy religious beliefs, it's the fact that it's such a horribly written pi
Jul 02, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Most people do now know that I have read 7 of the 13 Left Behind books (12 actually, but then they threw on that extra one, and this is not counting the prequels, the kids versions and the horrendous graphic novels: Armageddon can pay off nicely as long as it's delayed). I don't hide the fact, it just doesn't come up that often. I would have read all of them, but when I went through my Left Behind phase these were the only ones out. The phase lasted I think 2 weeks. The books read quickly.


Sep 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i read this entire series.....almost non stop...
they came out with a prequel series, but i figured how many times can you beat a dead horse....

This series was really really good.
I didnt know how i was going to like it, not being a practicing catholic and all, but even if it doesnt keep to scripture 100%, it gives you enough of an eye-opener....

I remember thinking, wow. If this really happened, i would be one of the ones suffering through all this. And what would it take for me turn and accept
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Apr 18, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Satirical Critique
Recommended to Joshua Nomen-Mutatio by: Jesus, my mom
I'd totally forgot that my mom actually paid me 50 dollars to read this book when I was about 11 or 12. Yeah, she's pretty religious. She wanted me to read the second and third books of the series as well. I think I may have lied about reading the second one in order to get another payment. The memory's a bit fuzzy on this. The whole thing is actually kind of unsettling the more I think about it. It's a bit of a drag having parents that really believe in Jesus and heaven and hell.

Oh, and obvious
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Sep 13, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: what-religion
I gave it a go, I really really did. The series is so popular and my ex really enjoys the books (ok, they're the only books he ever read, so maybe that should have told me something) so I thought I'd be open-minded and try it. After all, I did like the movie The Rapture and I love religious science fiction.

This, however, is thinly disguised right-wing propaganda. I can respect people who think differently than I do as long as they respect me back. This book does no such thing. They manage to twi
A Rye
Jun 07, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: fiction, crap
This...should not be considered literature.... eschatological pornography...

The narrative and dialogue within this series is simply pedestrian.
Trent Mikesell
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think whether or not you enjoy this book depends on what you consider a "good" book. If you think all good books are well written, then this is probably isn't for you. If you think good books have to be 100% accurate, then this book probably isn't for you. However, if, like me much of the time, you think good fiction books should make you WANT to keep reading (even to the point of staying up late), then you may enjoy this book.

I remember when this book came out and it sounded interesting. I f
Matt Mazenauer
Sep 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought at first that I wouldn't be who this book was aimed at, but instead, I found the opposite. Since all the devout Christians have been taken by the Rapture, the protagonists are a mix of atheists, agnostics, Christmas Christians, even seemingly devout Christians who could have been truer. This means that no matter where you fall on the devout scale you have someone to follow through the tribulations fo teh Rapture. There's fun semi apocalyptic planes falling from sky disaster movie after ...more
Sep 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: believers and non-believers alike
if you grew up in church like i did, this first book of the series will terrify you. the rest will keep you spell bound.

i would recommend these books to anyone though, they are fantastic and very well written.

they reference scripture a lot and i like to book mark those places and go back and read the scripture later. its amazing.
Robert Beveridge
Jan 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Left Behind (Tyndale, 1995)

So I figured after nine years, it was time for me to get around to reading the first book in the bestselling Christian fiction series in history, Left Behind. I had always avoided it, not because of the subject matter, but by and large books that break records tend to be writ large by those with the wit, talent, and grammatical skill of overly enthusiastic six-year-olds. Dame Barbara Cartland, Danielle Steel, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, S
Jun 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It would be unfortunate enough were the prose this book's lone problem. But as knuckle-headedly indelicate (Jenkins describing Carpathia as "not unlike a young Robert Redford" on 114 and later Jenkins's character describing Carpathia as "a young Robert Redford" on 232) and heavy-handed ("you might be asking Carpathia to turn against his own angels" on 231) and weirdly unfunny when attempting to be funny (the entire flirtatious cookie exchange between Buck and Chloe: 365-367 and 372-375) and crin ...more
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally got a chance to reread this and being old then i was the first time and learning more abour the bible then i did when i first read it, i have more theories and questions but I think the left behind series does a pretty good job of what will happen one day.
Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the whole series but I can't remember which book was which at this point. So I'm rating the series overall as a 4.

The story begins the day after the rapture. Everyone who was "left behind" has to figure out what happened. Was it aliens or a terrorist attack? The story unfolds over the books and you get to watch people come to terms with the reality of the situation. You get to see the rise of the antichrist and how so may people don't understnad what's really going on.

The series as a who
Jun 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: got-it, fiction
First thing (this is very important) This book is a novel. LaHaye has very premillenial viewpoints in all of his writing and he doesn't apologize for that. Read this book for what it is - entertainment, not an eschatology textbook. LaHaye has written many books explaining his views on the end times - if you want the "why" on this subject, almost anything by Tim LaHaye will do; here he is just having fun.
This is a fast paced novel so if you read this book expecting a lesson in eschatology, you w

Growing up my sister and I had similar interests in books. While she read the newest R.L. Stine Fear Street I was holding my Goosebumps book in a white-knuckle grip. As time went on and our interests turned from books to parties and boys, we still shared a love of all things horror. She and I would swap Stephen King books like most sisters swap clothes-unwillingly and with a degree of fear that the other would somehow diminish its quality by merely touching it.

There was a period of time where m
Apr 30, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not worth the paper it's printed on, what a piece of shit, I couldn't even finish it. It is THAT BAD. If there was a 1/4 star I would give it that. I read it (or tried to) when it first came out and was causing such a buzz in the Christian community, I wanted to see what it was all about. It was a difficult slog from page 1. It's SO poorly written, the characters are as one dimensional as possible, the dialogue is SO bad, there aren't enough words to describe how B-A-D this book is. The most ala ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
I wondered what all the social media fuss was about so I finally read this popular novel. I have learned it is based on common evangelical teachings. Fucking hell! I have never read such hateful and ridiculous propaganda.

The 'Left Behind' series is pure sadistic filth, disgusting, and an utter waste of time to read unless you are one of those Christians who feels ecstasy over the predicted gory torture and bloody broken-bone and disemboweling horror God and Jesus will personally perform on every
Feb 25, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Basically, I thought this was one of the most mind-numbingly idiotic books I have ever read. It was.... a fast read. That is the kindest thing I can say. Oh, wait. No! The kindest thing I can say is that this fulfilled a reading challenge. I basically read it on a dare.

If you are ever like, "I am so far removed from religious evangelist people. I wonder exactly how people get sucked into completely illogical, mind-numbingly stupid, culty shit like Christianity End Times Rapture Prophecies, etc"
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my managers at work actually reccomended this book to me after I told I had read 'The Road'. I have to admit that I was skeptical going into this book only because I knew some of the background due to publicity surrounding the movies. I didn't feel much like reading a bunch of quoted Bible scripture - but I was happy to discover that there wasn't much of that in the book.

The story focuses primarily around a core group of characters all tied together following a mysterious worldwide disapp
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, novels
The concept is great: what would the Biblical end times prophecies really look like if they happened today? How could the ancient words of Isaiah and Revelation actually play out in today's world? What if the rapture occurred right now?!!

While some elements are admittedly intriguing (the anti-Christ's rise to power, the underground believers' economy, the covert operations) one frustration for me is the characters' glaring lack of depth. With maybe a few exceptions, these are flat, unrealistic s
Apr 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll use this one review for all the books of this series I've read (just to save time)and that's inclusive of 1-10. I truly enjoyed them, some a little more than others, but that's probably more of a reaction to my over indulgence than anything on the authors part (I was averaging three or four a week around school, yeah too much, kind of like a kid having too much candy and getting ill) These books are creative, action packed, display the gospel credibly and made me care about the characters. ...more
Jeigu, pabrėžiu, jeigu - esate tikintis, religingas ir norite biblinėmis ir/ar apokaliptinėmis ir panašiomis temomis sukalto suspense/detective žanro mišinio su, kaip ir dera (post)apokaliptiniams romanams, distopijos ar mistikos priemaiša, tada šita knyga, netgi gal ir visa serija, tikrai visai patiks.

Aš gi ją skaičiau tada, kai dar skaitydavau viską iš eilės visai neatsirinkinėdamas ir kai šlovingas .epub formatas dar neegzistavo bei neatvėrė man neaprėpiamų tolių, tad... Na, sakykim taip - t
Jun 23, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
some of the worst books, ever, god bless them!

i derive a sort of masochistic pleasure in reading them. i actually didn't read them, i listened to them. i couldn't actually spend that time simply reading....i was reading and doing yardwork, or knitting, or something productive.

these books suck! oh god, do they suck.
they had potential for excellent apocalyptic death, disaster and destruction...but they were too heavy on the finding-jesus part, and too light on the destruction part. stephen king s
Rachel L
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: christians and people curious about the bible
Recommended to Rachel by: my mom
Left Behind is a book based biblically on the interpretation of what the end times could be like. It begins with the calling of all the Christians to join Christ in Heaven. All of the people that are "Left Behind" have to go through the tribulation. Buck Williams experiences what happend when he is flying on an airplane and people disappear only leaving their clothes. The pilot is also a main character who has to try and calm people down when their loved ones have simply disappeared off an airpl ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Soon: The Beginning of the End (Underground Zealot, #1)
  • Piercing the Darkness (Darkness, #2)
  • Night Light (Restoration #2)
  • Fireproof
Timothy "Tim" F. LaHaye was an American evangelical Christian minister, author, and speaker, best known for the Left Behind series of apocalyptic fiction, which he co-wrote with Jerry B. Jenkins.

He has written over 50 books, both fiction and non-fiction.
More about Tim LaHaye...

Other Books in the Series

Left Behind (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Tribulation Force (Left Behind, #2)
  • Nicolae (Left Behind, #3)
  • Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides (Left Behind, #4)
  • Apollyon (Left Behind, #5)
  • Assassins (Left Behind, #6)
  • The Indwelling (Left Behind, #7)
  • The Mark (Left Behind, #8)
  • Desecration (Left Behind, #9)
  • The Remnant (Left Behind, #10)
  • Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages (Left Behind, #11)

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • The Silent Shield (Kingfountain #5)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • Gateway to Fourline (The Fourline Trilogy, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Scourge of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Nightstalkers (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Book of Truths (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Rift (Area 51: Nightstalkers, #3)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Forsaken Throne (Kingfountain #6)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Caraval (Caraval, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Rebel Genius
    $6.38 $2.99
  • Time Patrol (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #4)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Secret Hour (Midnighters, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The King's Traitor (Kingfountain, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Insignia (Insignia, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Hollow Crown (Kingfountain #4)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Moving Mars
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Blood Rose Rebellion
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ocean of Storms
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology, #2)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Crown (The Selection, #5)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)
    $10.29 $2.99
  • Neverwhere
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Reamde
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Shadow of Empire (Far Star Trilogy #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Welcome to Night Vale
    $7.49 $2.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Final Trade (The Dominion Trilogy, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1)
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Wool: The Graphic Novel
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • Timequake
    $8.99 $1.99
“Dear God, I admit that I’m a sinner. I am sorry for my sins. Please forgive me and save me. I ask this in the name of Jesus, who died for me. I trust in him right now. I believe that the sinless blood of Jesus is sufficient to pay the price for my salvation. Thank you for hearing me and receiving me. Thank you for saving my soul.” 6 likes
“The Bible says that to those who receive him, he gives the power to become sons of God. That’s what Jesus is—the Son of God. When we become sons of God, we have what Jesus has: a relationship with God, eternal life, and because Jesus paid our penalty, we also have forgiveness for our sins.” 4 likes
More quotes…